Discipline actually means teaching. Teaching is based on setting goals for learning, planning an effective approach, and finding solutions that work. While parenting children, parents are often learning themselves. Finding the facts about discipline and what works (PDF) is a great first step.
Positive discipline is non-violent and respectful of the child as a learner. It is an teaching approach that helps children succeed, gives them information, and supports their growth.
Discipline is a way of teaching children how to:
- solve problems;
- think for themselves;
- get along with others;
- resolve conflict; and
- do the right thing (even when you are not there.
Discipline is not doing something to children – it is working with them appropriate to their developmental level. Understanding how children think and feel is important to positive discipline. Discipline shows children:
- what they have done wrong;
- gives them ownership of the problem (appropriate to their age and development);
- gives them options for solving the problem;
- shows them respect; and
- leaves their dignity intact.